I joked to some friends that I would open this column with the words: "It seemed like a good idea at the time". After the traffic, the parking woes, the waiting to get a pass, it almost felt like a waste of a day. Almost.
I do not recommend going to the San Diego Comic-con on a whim. Careful planning is suggested, nay, required, as the number of events going on at any given time can make you wander around aimlessly. Do this long enough and you end up sitting in the hallway sitting next to some guy in a full stormtrooper costume, muttering about how you can't get into the big Hall H because of fire codes. You really don't want that to happen.
Fortunately, I did just enough planning to keep me away from that predicament, but I still found the experience overwhelming. Most of the Movieweb gang had planned out their trip. I emailed Brian on the Thursday of Comic-con, explaining I thought I'd drop in on Saturday, maybe get an article out of the day. He must have thought I was insane.
At any given time, there are at least a dozen different panels going on. Most cover some aspect of comics, but increasingly the subject matter includes films, television shows, and gaming. Because I am a TV columnist, I resisted the temptation of the Spidey 3 panel to sit in on the TV Guide hosted panel about sci-fi on TV and the Veronica Mars panel. Both proved illuminating, and I did cull some tidbits to report.
- There was a big push for Heroes, the new fall show on NBC. The buzz on the street was pretty positive. Granted, good press at Comic-con doth not a hit show make, but it sure doesn't hurt.
- The networks are making Sci-Fi work harder. With shows like Lost and even Medium finding a mainstream audience, the Sci-Fi Channel has to take it up a notch on finding good edgy entertainment. This is a good thing, in my opinion.
- Veronica Mars needs viewers. In an attempt to give the show new life and hopefully attract more viewers, rather than a season long mystery arc, there will be 3 'mini' mysteries, with the episodes of those arcs being shown week after week with no interruptions by repeats. Each episode will also focus more closely on the "mystery of the week", in an attempt to not confuse potential new viewers to the show.
- Guys love Kristen Bell and Jennifer Love Hewitt.
I also got a chance to interview Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files and recently cancelled Night Stalker):
What makes a pilot stand out with the networks these days?
Frank: I think TV is a medium of characters, they have to be really engaging, distinct characters. Increasingly the networks are looking for really high concept shows that they can market and promote very clearly, so you need a really marketable idea.
Did you come to the network with the idea for doing Night Stalker?
Frank: They came to me.
The DVD came out May 30th. What special features did you do for it?
Frank: I explain what would have happened in the series had it continued. I also did some audio commentaries for the episodes.
Short interview, but he was really nice to let me stand there and annoy him for a couple of minutes while he signed autographs. He found the autograph signing to be very strange. "Only in this genre," he said.
Summer is starting to wind down and the fall season is coming up fast. This week I'll post a second column listing all of the premiere dates for new and returning shows, and give you my tv viewing strategy come next month! My DVR is going to be getting a work out, that's for sure.
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